Raft-type wave energy converter (WEC) is a multi-mode wave energy conversion device, using the relative pitch motion to drive its hydraulic power take-off (PTO) units for capturing energy from the ocean waves. The hydraulic PTO unit as its energy conversion module plays a significant role in storing large qualities of energy and making the output power smooth. However, most of the previous investigations on the raft-type WECs treat the hydraulic PTO unit as a linear PTO unit and do not consider the dynamics of the hydraulic circuit and components in their investigations. This paper is related to a two-raft-type WEC consisting of two hinged rafts and a hydraulic PTO unit. The aim of this paper is to make an understanding of the dynamics of the hydraulic PTO unit and how these affect the performance of the two-raft-type WEC. Therefore, a combined hydrodynamic and hydraulic PTO unit model is proposed to investigate and optimize the performance of the two-raft-type WEC; and based on the simulation of the combined model, the relationships between the optimal power capture ability, the optimal magnitude of the hydraulic PTO force and the wave states are numerically revealed. Results show that an approximately square wave type hydraulic PTO force is produced by the hydraulic PTO unit, which causes the performance of the two-raft-type WEC not to be sinusoidal and the energy capturing manner different from that of the device using a linear PTO unit; moreover, there is an optimal magnitude of the hydraulic PTO force for obtaining an optimal power capture ability, which can be achieved by adjusting the parameters of the hydraulic PTO unit; in regular waves, the optimal power capture ability as well as the optimal magnitude of the hydraulic PTO force normalized by the wave height presents little relationship with the wave height, mainly depends on the wave period; in irregular waves, the trends of the optimal power capture ability and the normalized optimal magnitude of the hydraulic PTO force against the peak wave periods at different significant wave heights are generally identical and show a good correlation. All means that the hydraulic PTO unit of the two-raft-type WEC can be tuned to the wave states, and these would provide a valuable guidance for the optimal design of its hydraulic PTO unit.